Niagara Falls, arguably the world's most breathtaking waterfalls, will be illuminated in saffron, white and green on August 15 to mark the 70th Independence Day of India.
 

Earlier this year, Indians were thrilled to see the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, similarly lit up in tricolour on Republic Day. When the Niagara Falls, that straddles the international border between United States and Canada, will light up in tricolour, Malayalis will have one more reason to cheer about, as the man behind the initiative is from Kerala — Sibu Nair, who works as administrator in the University of Buffalo, New York. Sibu tells us, "Niagara waterfalls will be illuminated in the colours of the Indian national flag on August 15 for 15 minutes, from 10-10.15 pm, New York time. We are very much excited about it."

The Indian community in Western New York is very active, according to Sibu. While pepping up for Independence Day celebrations that they organise every year, Sibu hit upon this idea and wrote to Niagara Park's Commission. "The response was positive! I shared it with my Indian friends and we decided to celebrate it in all glory. Usually, the park's authority illuminates the falls for fundraising or internationally accepted noble causes. The sapthathi of our Independence is going to be very special," Sibu says. People from across the US and Canada are expected to flock to Niagara on the day to witness the spectacle.

As August 15 is a working day, Indians in the region will have their Independence Day celebrations on the Saturday that falls before it. "On August 12, we will have the annual Festival of India which will have competitions, music, dance and gourmet treats," says Sibu, adding that the streets of Buffalo will have a unique Indian flavour that day. "Many non-Indians too will join us to relish our ethnic cuisine and apply henna on their hands and draw rangoli. We will also hoist the Indian flag at the canal side in Downtown, Buffalo," he says.


The icing on the cake, however, will of course be the 'tricolour' falls, which will be on Indian time 7.30 am, August 16. "We are eager to witness the historic moment," Sibu says.

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